Brendan Faherty is a Yale Women’s soccer coach who has left his position amid allegations of sexual misconduct by multiple former players during the years of 2003-2009. The allegations first came to light after an independent investigation by The Yale Daily News.
The student-run publication first informed the university of these allegations on Monday, November 18. On Wednesday, Vice President for Communications Nate Nickerson told the Daily News that Faherty no longer works at Yale. Nickerson said in a statement, “Yale hired women’s head soccer coach Brendan Faherty in December of 2018, following the background check and careful review of previous employment conducted in every such hiring. None of the information shared by the Yale Daily News on Monday, which is deeply troubling, was made known in the interview and vetting process.”
In response to the allegations made, Faherty’s lawyers have offered the following statement:
“Mr. Faherty is deeply disappointed in the allegations from more than ten years ago that have been made in the Yale Daily News and the actions taken by Yale University in response to the report,” the lawyers said. “He denies having engaged in any non-consensual relationships. He further denies having any inappropriate sexual interaction or contact of any kind. Based upon the report, he is no longer employed at Yale.”
Faherty is married to his wife, Therese. Together, they have a daughter named Ellie.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Faherty Came to Yale in 2018, & Was the First Hire by Yale Athletic Director Vicky Chun
Faherty has only been with the Yale Women’s soccer team for two seasons at the time of his removal. When he was hired in 2018, he was the first hire by the new Athletic Director, Vicky Chun.
Chun said of hiring Faherty, “I am thrilled to have Brendan as the next leader of our women’s soccer program. His national reputation and credentials made him immediately stand out, but it was his vision for the future of Yale women’s soccer, his deep commitment to success both academically and athletically, his unwavering passion for student-athlete development, and the respect and love from his former student-athletes that made him the clear choice. Brendan’s core values align perfectly with those of our university and department.”
Following the announcement of Faherty’s departure from the role, Chun said in an emailed statement, “We know change is hard, but also know the strength and resiliency of our women’s soccer team will shine through this difficult time. Our student athletes are at the center of our decisions, and we know this is the right path forward.”
Faherty has yielded significant success for the teams he’s worked with, on the field. He has notched over 100 career wins as a coach, per his now-deleted Yale bio. It’s unclear who will be replacing Faherty as an interim head coach.
2. Faherty Previously Worked at Stony Brook University, the University of Washington, & the University of New Haven
Faherty graduated from Northeastern University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s in Athletic Training. He then spent a year coaching in England, where he earned a postgraduate degree in football industries at Liverpool University in 2002, per his UMass bio. Shortly after that, as a 24-year-old, he embarked upon a career in collegiate soccer coaching, starting at New Haven and culminating in a head coach position at Yale. His time at New Haven is also the focal point for the allegations, as well, which you can read about below.
Faherty received the head coaching position at Stony Brook in 2015. A year later, his staff received the America East Coaching Staff of the Year award. Prior to Stony Brook, Faherty worked at the University of Washington, serving as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He was also an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts.
3. The Majority of Allegations Arise From Women Who Played for Faherty Between 2003-2009
Per the independent investigation conducted by The Yale Daily News, Faherty is accused of “abusing his position” with multiple players during his time at New Haven, from 2003-2009. Specifically, five players spoke to the student publication about his apparent abuse, including an instance where he allegedly forced a player to get into bed with her, and groped her breasts, and another instance where he engaged in a “consensual” relationship with a player, one which went on for years after she stopped playing for him.
Another three former players told the publication that they would drink with Faherty. Three others told the publication that Faherty would often come to bars to meet his players.
The alleged groping incident, as relayed by the victim, took place after Faherty attended a concert with three players in New York City, then offered to drive them home after. The victim said Faherty was driving recklessly, and that he refused to drop her off after he dropped the others off. He insisted she stay at his house, the victim said. “[He] was insistent in a way that I didn’t feel comfortable contradicting him,” she explained to the publication. “So I was laying in his bed — stiff as a board, on the very edge — trying not to initiate any kind of contact, and he starts groping me underneath my shirt [and] commenting about my breasts.”
The victim further stated that she heard from Faherty years later through a Facebook message, in which he was apparently reaching out in order to compile a gift book for a player. The alleged message from Faherty reads, “Long, long, time no talk and I’ve been meaning to reach out for a long time to say I’m sorry for the way things ended at New Haven for you in regards to soccer and with me. If I could go back and do things differently, I would, but all I could do was move on and be a better person and coach in the future.”
Another former player who engaged in a “consensual” intimate relationship with Faherty over several years, told the publication that she felt “exploited” by Faherty in retrospect. She said,
“It was consensual in that it was not forced. I do, however, remember feeling kind of frozen, like I couldn’t believe it was actually happening … He had been a trusted adult in my life and he was older than me, so it seemed surreal that he would even have an interest in me in that way. It devastated me … I became more isolated and depressed — I had a secret life I was unable to speak about. As a young woman barely into my twenties, this was horrible and pretty unhealthy.”
Faherty did not comment on any of the claims made against him.
4. Faherty’s Now-Deleted Yale Bio Shows Glowing Praise of the Coach by Former Soccer Players
Faherty’s Yale bio, which has since been deleted, shows multiple quotes by former players praising Faherty as a person and a coach. One review reads,
“Coach Faherty did everything in his power to make the team better and closer to reaching our goals. He carried out his vast knowledge in a way that everyone understood, appreciated and was inspired by. But to describe Brendan only as a soccer coach would not do him justice. I came to America with no friends and family, but the way he welcomed me from day one was far beyond what I could have ever expected. Brendan not only saw us as soccer players, but also as people. Having a coach that cared about us off the field made us more comfortable on the field. Coach Faherty’s ability to inspire me to improve both as a soccer player, but also as a person game me a new definition of a great coach.”
5. Another Yale Soccer Coach, Rudy Meredith, Was Allegedly Involved in the College Bribery Scandal
This isn’t the first controversy to hit Yale Women’s Soccer in recent years. Rudy Meredith, the head coach who resigned and left the post open for Faherty, left in 2018 and was soon implicated in a massive college bribery scandal.
Meredith pleaded guilty in March to charges that he took monetary bribes in exchange for pretending applicants were soccer recruits in order to get them into Yale. He is awaiting sentencing. You can read more about that here.